[Statement] The Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ebrahim Patel, has gazetted the directions providing for a wide range of goods to be available to consumers through e-Commerce platforms from today. This follows the announcement by President Ramaphosa last night that e-Commerce would be expanded beyond what has been announced previously.

The Regulations setting out economic activities that can reopen, provided for directions to be published on increasing the scope of goods which could be sold through e-Commerce platforms.

Effective today, and subject to all applicable laws, all goods will be available for transaction through e-Commerce platforms with the exception of liquor and tobacco, which have been expressively prohibited for sale to the public during Alert Level 4. These products would be reconsidered in future when the Regulations permit their sale.

These gazetted directions enable the sale of products through e-Commerce platforms and delivery-systems that are currently not available at retail outlets, including household appliances, electronic goods, furniture, books, music, gym products, the full range of clothing and footwear products, household utensils and others.

“We strongly believe in the value of e-Commerce as a critical enabler to opening the economy through contactless transactions. This can reduce the movement of consumers, and the density of shoppers in retail spaces. Further it can accelerate innovation, support local manufacturing and increase access by the informal market and poorer South Africans,” Minister Patel said today.

“We are in the middle of a global pandemic that has taken hundreds of thousands of lives across the world. Protecting the lives of workers and consumers is critical as we open up the economy. We have consulted with stakeholders to get the proper health and safety protocols in place which can allow the full e-Commerce supply chain to operate safely while mitigating the risk of it becoming a vector for transmission of the coronavirus,” said Minister Patel.